|Sunrise at Mousehold Heath|
We could hear the songs and calls of; blackbirds, song thrushes, a mistle thrush rattling, chiffchaffs, willow warblers, blackcaps, whitethroats, goldcrests, blue tits, great tits, coal tits, long-tailed tits, chaffinches, greenfinches, goldfinches, woodpigeons, collard doves, feral pigeons, house sparrows and treecreepers. We also got to see our first swift of the year, a sparrowhawk, a peregrine flying over the cityscape and a couple of muntjac deer. It was a great record haul for the survey and everyone enjoyed this morning's walk and found it worth waking up early for.
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|Mother Oak, the oldest tree on Mousehold|
There was one thing on the sightings board I wanted to see the most. Actually, I don't want to see it but hear it. Nightingales were reported to be singing near a building on top of a hill, which the BBC's Springwatch team will be using in a few weeks time. We walked over there and I heard them! Two nightingales were dueting in the gorse and shrubs next to the Springwatch building. It was magical, like listening to two musical geniuses. The sound of them moves you. It's unexplainable. No wonder poets from the trenches of World War One where inspired by them from out of the horrors they encountered there.
|Male Three-spined Stickleback|
Bitterns have been booming throughout our walk in the woods. The sound reverberates through us. It is an incredible feeling! It sounds like it was coming from somewhere in the area near Bittern Hide. We got inside the hide, but it was jam packed with birdwatchers. There was nowhere to sit and the spaces to stand was starting to feel like a can of sardines. Nobody looked willing to let anyone else take their turn on the benches, so we gave up and left.
|Greylags and goslings|